Civil War Maps provides students an opportunity to study the history of the American Civil War era through cartographic data. The maps of this collection portray the overall course and specific battles of the war between North and South. They also portray the issues of territorial expansion, slavery, and secession, which surrounded the genesis of the conflict. In addition, students can use the maps to study railroads, naval battles, and the history of cartographic mapping in the U.S.
Territorial Expansion, Slavery, and Secession
As the United States expanded westward, the issue of whether or not new states would be admitted to the Union as slave states or free states was at the center of political debates. Finally, in 1861, the issues of slavery and state rights erupted into the American Civil War when southern states seceded from the Union and created the Confederacy.
Students can search on secession and slave to see maps depicting newly admitted states. Using visual data of where free and slave states were located, students can gain an understanding of why the country divided as it did. Did all the states that left the Union share borders? What similarities and common interests are implied by geographic proximity? Some similarities might include states' economies and agriculture. How do these relate to secession and war? Students can choose particular states and do research to find out if there was debate within the states on whether or not to secede.